Cali DeWitt and “Immortal Riddim,” a Zine Co-Produced with artist Alexis Ross
- Valeria Giampietro
On February 21 st 2015, V1 Gallery from Copenhagen introduced Cali Thornhill DeWitt’s new body of work to its audience. Entitled Busted on the Hot Spots, the exhibition actually presented itself as the very first European show by the Canadian artist, photographer, designer and director. A sparkling–as one can probably infer from these images–that almost seemed to stress the spirit of inventiveness and active participation of an artist positioned, in some way, on the edge of a ‘plastic’ observational space. The loose handling of its (extra-textual and visual) contents represents, in fact, not only the medium through which DeWitt translates his own critical and intellectual conjectures but the very backbone of his own creations. The verb itself–‘to handle’–subsumes, in fact, the very own ethics and aesthetics of the Canadian visual artist; an ‘artisan’ that prefers revision, reexamination and alteration to mere contemplation.
DeWitt’s stylistic grammar–visibly in agreement with Jenny Holzer or Barbara Kruger’s–thus gifts us with a powerful and thorough picture of his own identity (and adroitness) as an artist; an identity, as we can see, evidently marked by crisscrossed references, clues and voices that crop up in his work so clearly and so distinctly… like metrical syllables. These are – to be more precise–the references, clues and voices belonging to those personalities with whom the artist has been collaborating over the course of his career; musicians (such as Iceage or Kanye West, for whom he created the whole Life of Pablo merchandise in 2016) and fashion designers such as Kazuki Kuraishi and A.FOUR are just a few of them.
Staying on the subject of collaborations, Immortal Riddim emerges almost soundlessly, and it does so, this time, within the boundaries of a totally different scenario, less jazzy, less flagrant. Immortal Riddim is, in fact, a zine created in collaboration with artist Alexis Ross in 2014. Published by Heavytime and originally distributed in a limited edition of 200 copies, this 32-page zine seems to embody the ideal common terrain where two distinct yet perfectly communicating personalities (and expressive codes) can meet. Immortal Riddim is currently sold out. Click here to know more about the zine and the artists involved.